Ready to outsource maintenance for your fire safety and security systems? Check these risks first

by Brianna Crandall — April 10, 2017 — Euralarm, an organization that represents the European electronic fire and security industry, recently published a white paper on outsourcing the maintenance of fire safety and security systems, specifically intended for building owners and facilities managers (FMs). The purpose of the white paper is to bring awareness of the risks of outsourcing maintenance and to give guidelines on how to avoid or minimize these risks.

More and more building owners and managers are outsourcing the maintenance of their buildings and systems to specialized FM companies. By doing so, the fire safety and security systems are often bundled together with other types of systems into one maintenance service contract. This approach not only lowers the costs but also reduces the number of service suppliers. However, the maintaining of fire safety and security system services by generalist service suppliers also brings the risk of non-specialists becoming responsible for the maintenance of fire safety and security services.

Meanwhile the building owner or operator is responsible for ensuring that service providers are qualified and certified to carry out the work according to European and local standards, regulations and laws. In the event that a fire safety or security system fails to work properly, proof of verification from sub-contractors is crucial, stating they not only have the necessary qualifications and competent staff but also are proficient in the appropriate standards, regulations and laws.

Euralarm is driving the establishment of quality levels for services tied to fire safety and security systems and has defined the levels of competence for organizations and employees involved in the planning, design, installation, commissioning, verification, handover and maintenance of such systems. Euralarm encourages building owners and FMs to use European standard EN 16763 as a guidance and to build the requirements for valid third-party certification into tenders and contracts when deciding which service provider to choose.

Electronic copies of the White Paper: For Building Managers: Outsourcing the Maintenance of Fire Safety and Security Systems are available for free download from the Euralarm Web site.